Cork nursing home challenge to raise €20,000 for PPE

Cork nursing home challenge to raise €20,000 for PPE
Bridie Truss, who is 100 years old, taking part in the 'cocooning challenge' at St Luke's Home.

Residents from a Cork nursing home are taking part in a new challenge this week to help raise funds to purchase PPE for the facility, while also maintaining their physical health.

As part of the “cocooning challenge” which is taking place at St Luke’s Home in Mahon, residents are seeking sponsorship to complete laps of the garden on the grounds.

The challenge was initially intended to help raise funds for activities and services at St Luke’s Home, after some of its regular fundraising activities had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We had a couple of fundraisers like our golf classic which we knew couldn't go ahead and so we were trying to think of online fundraisers we could do,” explained Lisa Howard, Residents Activity Manager at St Luke’s Home. 

These fundraising events would usually subsidise activities and therapies such as physiotherapy or speech and language therapy.

However, last week when new guidance was introduced which meant masks need to be worn by healthcare workers caring for people, regardless of whether or not those people may have COVID-19, organisers had to return to the drawing board and substantially increase their fundraising targets.

“The price of PPE has gone through the roof. We started the challenge on Monday and to be fair, we have already raised €12,000. We’ll be hoping to get as much PPE as we can,” explained Ms Howard.

The target of €20,000 will cover around two weeks of PPE, with Ms Howard saying they had spent €9,500 for a week's supply. 

Fiona Ryan, who is a physiotherapist at St Luke’s Home, said residents have really embraced the challenge.

“We were thinking of ways to keep residents active. Most of our residents are super active and they are walking the grounds anyway, especially with the good weather we are having,” she said.

While some of the 128 residents at St Luke’s may not be able to complete the laps of the garden, Ms Ryan says that these residents are also receiving extra activities or movements so that everyone is involved.

The challenge, they say, has also really helped to lift the spirits of residents, who like many others are bored and who miss seeing their families and friends while cocooning.

St Luke’s closed its doors to visitors in early March so many of the residents have not seen their loved ones in almost two months.

They are keeping in touch with their loved ones instead by phone and over Skype. 

While they are following physical distancing guidelines at the centre, they are also continuing to participate in activities such as “hall bingo”- where they play bingo in the hallway while sitting outside their own rooms as well as spending time outside. 

The cocooning challenge will continue over the coming days and will culminate in a specially organised afternoon tea next Friday where residents will be presented with medals for their participation.

To donate to the cocooning challenge log on to: https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/residents-staff-walking-a-lap-for-st-luke-s?fbclid=IwAR3C6ercachs1_N2-0AKQ9UfrWH_GkYi1PgQRK7gW9B1woUY6hON6_UgX4Q

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